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Aces wild: Clijsters’ Open spot confirmed


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:41

She may have been dumped out of the Rogers Cup by Jelena Jankovic yesterday, but at least Kim Clijsters can comfort herself with the news that she has earned herself a wildcard for the US Open.

The 2005 US Open champ has been modestly impressive on her return to the tour, reaching the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open last week in her first tournament back after a two-year retirement to start a family.

And it looked like the former world No.1 was set to post her biggest victory since her return before falling 1-6 6-3 7-5 to the No.5-seeded Serbian.

“Disappointed and a little frustrated with the match,” Clijsters, who had led 5-3 in the third set but failed to close out the win, told her twitter feed, before adding: “Still shows how close I am to top-five level after a few matches back.”

The 26-year-old is joined by fellow wildcards Kristina Mladenovic, the French world junior No.1, Australia’s Olivia Rogowska, and Americans Alexa Glatch, Vania King, Gail Brodksy, NCAA champion Mallory Cecil and Christina McHale in the draw, which takes place on August 27, with the Open starting on August 31.

Elsewhere in Toronto, another comeback queen displayed her killer instinct. Maria Sharapova beat compatriot and No.7 seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2 7-6(3) after a ‘tornado delay’ had forced organisers to evacuate the centre court.

“I’ve had a lot of rain delays but probably none because of a tornado,” said the unseeded Russian, who now faces Agnieszka Radwanska. “I know there were tornado warnings but I didn’t hear much because I was in the players’ locker room and we’re around cement.”

Sharapova now looms large as the sharp end of the tournament comes into sight, particularly for Serena Williams, who is determined to topple Dinara Safina from the top of the rankings.

The No.2 seed eased to a 6-1 6-4 win over Alona Bondarenko, but was far from impressed with her own performance.

“I was trying to be perfect and just couldn’t get my serve in,” she said afterwards. “I got frustrated. I thought I played pretty well yesterday. I was a little disappointed in myself today after playing so well.”

Aravane Rezai, who beat Dinara Safina on Wednesday, couldn’t continue her run as she fell 6-3 6-4 to Alisa Kleybanova, who will face Jankovic in the last eight.

Lucie Safarova now awaits the defending US Open champion after the Czech beat Zheng Jie 7-6(3) 6-4.

Elena Dementieva found the going tough early on against Shahar Peer before posting a 6-1 1-6 6-4 win to set up a quarter-final clash with Sam Stosur, who defeated Virginie Razzano 6-3 6-1.

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